January 11, 2023

Biden at the Border

President Joe Biden said [last] Thursday the U.S. would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who cross the border from Mexico illegally… Instead, the U.S. will accept 30,000 people per month from the four nations for two years and offer the ability to work legally, as long as they come legally, have eligible sponsors and pass vetting and background checks.” AP News

President Joe Biden toured El Paso for about four hours on Sunday, visiting the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since taking office in the White House… When asked by reporters what he learned during his trip to El Paso, he said, ‘They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them.’” Texas Tribune

Here’s our previous coverage of immigration. The Flip Side

See past issues

From the Left

The left is divided about whether the new plan is too restrictive.

The program requires “a valid passport, a plane ticket, the ability and permission to travel to the US by plane, a US-based sponsor, a cell phone that can download a specific app that requires two-factor authentication, and a host of other requirements…

“This is a program obviously designed to favor those with means and pre-established connections in the US, and it’s hard to imagine it as anything but meaningless for those forced to flee for their lives without money or planning. As Human Rights Watch explains, Biden’s proposed program is ‘contrary to international refugee law and international human rights law which prohibits discrimination in accessing asylum, including based on financial means’…

“There’s no question that the current situation presents all kinds of challenges at the border. The US government recorded almost 2.4m encounters with migrants at the border last fiscal year, a record number… But it’s also clear that Biden feels compelled to get in front of the border issue ahead of Republican fearmongering… [The new rules] seem devised more to quell Republican objections (which, let’s face it, can never be mollified) rather than to take humanitarian and legal concerns to heart and turn them into workable policy.”

Moustafa Bayoumi, The Guardian

“Biden pitched his border plan as a way to bring order to chaos, with between 7,500 to 8,000 refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border every day in December. The wealthiest country in the world could respond to this mass movement by working with direct service providers on the ground and providing sufficient resources to swiftly resettle those fleeing political turmoil — turmoil for which the U.S. carries significant historic responsibility. Instead, the burden of this order is being placed on those fleeing for their own survival.”

Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

Others argue, “Biden’s [statement on Thursday] drew angry criticism from Democratic activists. An immigration advocate called his new border policy ‘callous.’ A human rights leader described it as ‘a humanitarian disgrace.’ The critics seemed to imply that the very idea of border control is morally wrong. This progressive view is compassionate but misconceived. Border security can be abused, but it’s an essential requirement for a free, sovereign nation…

“In politics, you usually get credit for telling the faithful what they want to hear. But that has it backward. Good government often means upsetting powerful constituencies and choosing a path that might be unpopular but is still correct. I don’t want to oversell Biden’s immigration plan. It’s not going to fix our shattered system. But it recognizes that people aren’t morally defective if they demand a more secure and effective border policy.”

David Ignatius, Washington Post

“Predictably, Mr. Biden’s move was attacked by immigration advocates for slamming the door on asylum seekers, as well as by restrictionists for opening a wider legal pathway. In fact, the president had little choice… absent legislative action, and in the face of mounting chaos at the border and an asylum system ill-suited for the scale of the current crisis, Mr. Biden opted for a stopgap that might be the best available option for now.”

Editorial Board, Washington Post

From the Right

The right criticizes Biden, arguing that he needs to take further steps to restrict migration.

The right criticizes Biden, arguing that he needs to take further steps to restrict migration.

“Congress has been crystal clear that aliens who enter the country illegally, or are arrested trying to, ‘shall be detained’ until any legal proceedings are concluded. And, since the vast majority of illegal aliens have no viable claims of a right to enter and remain in our country if they have not gone through our generous legal-immigration process, Congress has provided for deportation forthwith…  

“As Biden officials bang on about the need for ‘safe, orderly, and humane processing’ of ‘migrants,’ understand: It’s not like Congress never considered due process for illegal aliens. To the contrary, lawmakers considered it very carefully. Quite rationally, they decided that the processes of detention and rapid deportation were not merely safe, orderly, and humane but also the best way to discourage aliens from making the often-perilous journey to the United States.”

Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

“The Immigration and Nationality Act gives the secretary of Homeland Security ‘discretion’ to parole aliens into the United States temporarily ‘on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.’ It explicitly adds that the secretary may not use this power for an alien who is a refugee unless there are ‘compelling reasons in the public interest’ to do so. This is because we already have a U.S. Refugee Admission Program. Parole was meant to be used sparingly…

“[But] Biden apparently believes he can use parole at will — to allow millions of foreigners to enter the U.S…

“Biden has apparently persuaded Mexico to take back up to 30,000 immigrants per month who don’t qualify for the new program, but with over 200,000 foreigners attempting illegal entry plus 50,000 ‘gotaways’ evading inspection every month, who will take the rest?… With a mere 72,000 aliens deported last year, and ICE ordered to concentrate on those with criminal convictions, the chances of future failed asylum-seekers being sent south are very low… Biden is using parole programs to create a parallel immigration system.”

Simon Hankinson, Washington Examiner

“CBP has recorded more than 100,000 encounters every full month of Biden’s tenure, and more than 200,000 encounters 10 months in a row. For context, former Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson once said that a single month of 30,000 apprehensions was considered a crisis…  

“Consequently, up to 80% of Border Patrol agents have been pulled off the line to process these record numbers of illegal aliens, leaving the border increasingly open to the cartels… So much fentanyl is pouring across into our communities that it’s now the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45…

“In his speech Thursday, Biden repeatedly attacked Republicans for refusing to approve new funding for the Border Patrol. This was dishonest and misleading. First, the recent omnibus bill… forbade Border Patrol from spending any new money on new physical border security improvements. More importantly… his push for ‘more funding’ is about one thing – making it easier for the agency to simply process and release more illegal aliens more quickly into the interior.”

Tom Homan and Mark Morgan, Fox News

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